Kamasutra position #33
Category Archives: Sports
The antidote to homophobia is to speak up when you see something and for those of us who identify as LGBTQ to come out of the closet. The importance of living openly was driven home (again) in USA Today’s article, How Warriors president Rick Welts influenced the NBA’s All-Star Game move.
Below is an excerpt from the article.
Golden State Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts, 63, who is openly gay, explained his meaningful and lifelong affiliation with the NBA and told league owners he didn’t feel comfortable attending the All-Star Game in Charlotte if the law remained as is.
His words weren’t emotional, and they weren’t delivered as a threat. But Welts, who was instrumental in shaping All-Star weekend into the big-time event it is today, didn’t plan on attending if the North Carolina law wasn’t repealed or changed.
Following the meeting, a few owners talked, and a prevailing message emerged: If Rick Welts doesn’t feel comfortable coming to the All-Star Game, the decision to relocate just got easier.
Who can say how the NBA may have reacted if Rick Welts didn’t share his thoughts or if he had remained in the closet, choosing to live his life privately and away from the scrutiny and scorn often shown openly gay men in sports? Welts decision to live as an openly gay man provided the NBA owners with a perspective that (to paraphrase some of the NBA team owners) made “the decision to relocate the All Star game easier“. Thank you Rick for speaking up and sharing your perspective and thank you NBA for hearing him.
“While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2″ -National Basketball League
Yesterday, in an unprecedented move, the NBA announced they will move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, N.C. to another state because of that state’s controversial anti-LGBT law. The All-Star Game was expected to generate $100 million of revenue for the state, according to Athlete Ally. Seth Brown’s blog puts this loss in perspective in the excerpt I’ve included below.
For a little perspective, the largest event in Charlotte history (in regards to direct economic impact) was the 2012 Democratic National Convention which brought in $164 million. Not only will Charlotte not have the opportunity now for this economic boost, but they will also be stuck with the $33.5 million renovation fees for Time Warner Cable Arena over the next 10 years. A number of those renovations were scheduled to be done in time for the All-Star Game. So, at this point Charlotte is left with a hefty bill, while not seeing the expected return from their investment.
Each Wednesday morning I post a photograph and ask readers to offer a funny caption. Hopefully the caption below inspires you to share a few of your own.